Hello Forsyth Tech!
I hope you had a great weekend! It is hard for me to believe next week is Thanksgiving and beginning November 30, virtually all classes will go online. For me, the semester has gone by much too quickly, but in some ways, I welcome the dawn of 2021!
As you are aware, the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to climb in Forsyth County and across the country. While we have just a few more days of in-person classes, I would like to ask everyone to continue to remain cautious and compliant in our safety efforts. Thank you for your leadership and cooperation in following the three W’s – wearing a face covering, waiting six feet apart, and washing your hands often – to protect yourselves and our campus community. We must continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread of the virus.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
Imagine 2025 – Where are we now?
Many of you participated in our inaugural Data Summit 2020 on October 19, and the follow- up discussion sessions, which were well attended and extremely insightful. I appreciate all of the work everyone has contributed to help us continue to take a deeper dive into the data, recognizing our progress, and focusing on improvements. We know we have embarked on a challenging but exciting journey and I am confident we will make strides that will ultimately benefit all students and advance Forsyth Tech to become all that we imagine it to be.
In subsequent updates, I will address the outcome of the Data Summit discussions, yet today I want to focus on Imagine 2025, which was an important foreword to the discussion.
Many of you recall, we introduced the Imagine 2025 implementation team and their goals at Convocation last year. I know, 2019 seemed much longer than a year ago!
Since then, we have switched up some of the team members, but the group is doing a wonderful job intentionally moving us forward.
Imagine 2025 is the intentional design of the college experience moving us toward our strategic plan of VISION 2025 of learning, equity, completion, and post-graduation outcomes. This group leads and oversees our work with Achieving the Dream.
The objectives of the Imagine 2025 team during the first year from 2019 – 2020 were to learn more about the college and our initiatives and focus on alignment. We used the results from the Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (ICAT survey), to identify our strongest capacity, which was leadership and vision, and our weakest capacity, which was equity and data technology. We addressed those capacities through our work in the World Café with our Achieving the Dream Coaches, Dr. Connie Green and Dr. Rene Garcia. During the World Café sessions, we gleaned observations and feedback from more than 200 faculty and staff and developed three strategic priorities:
- Creating a culture of belonging
By creating a culture of belonging we are building a foundation of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Several things that have been vital in helping us grow and create a sustainable culture of belong included: introducing Courageous Conversations, building the Common Read program, and re-framing the work and focus of our Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. For students, in addition to defining equity, throughout COVID-19, Forsyth Tech Cares has provided holistic support for students and worked hard to mitigate barriers that impede student success. Now our Forsyth Tech Cares Navigators are driving those efforts and making a difference for students.
- Advising redesign
We are re-imagining academic advising as a dynamic and transformative model, shifting from a transactional to a holistic team-based relational model. The advising team examined the role of faculty in advising changing the name from Faculty Advisor to Faculty Mentor. We are building a system for holistic support and advising that equips each learner with what they need to be successful.
- Professional development
Through World Café, we heard that professional development should adopt a more individualized approach, and we have made professional development a college priority. This allows each of us the opportunity to grow professionally according to our needs and desires. Some hours of professional development will be required in diversity, equity, and inclusion as that is foundational in our culture. More explanation of professional development hours is on Techlink.
Throughout this past year, the Imagine 2025 team has worked hard in moving the needle and making progress toward our strategic plan Vision 2025. This year, the Imagine 2025 team added new members to the team, for additional perspective on strategies and action plans. They will continue using the resources and guidance of the Achieving the Dream coaches, network, and best practices, and add student Dream Scholars who can help advise the team on the student perspective. I am extremely proud of the work of the Imagine 2025 team as they guide us towards our strategic priorities.
If you have any questions about Imagine 2025, please feel free to reach out to me, or contact Co-Chairs of the Imagine 2025 team James Cook, Anu Williams, or Vice President for Strategic Innovation & Effectiveness Kevin Osborne.
Helping others succeed
“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”
– Napoleon Hill
This past Friday the 13th marked the eighth month on this unparalleled journey through a global pandemic that is hopefully, a once in our lifetime experience. A day we might not want to remember, yet despite that, you have shown that helping our students and each other has made us stronger together. I have seen acts of kindness demonstrated in many ways especially in the efforts to help others flourish. I cannot stress enough that we are and will continue to be our best when we reach out to each other, providing support and encouragement, and helping each other succeed. While this may be the beginning of the season of giving, you have all consistently revealed your generous spirit everyday through the COVID-19 disruption. Thank you for all you are doing for each other, for our students, and for Forsyth Tech!
Take care and stay safe!
Dr. Janet Spriggs